Caravanserai homeowners win fight with Alegría over utilities

PHILIPSBURG–The Caravanserai Home Owners Association on Wednesday won a legal battle with Alegría in which the Association called on the Court of First Instance to order Alegría to provide water and electricity to the so-called A-Building on the resort’s premises.

In summary proceedings the Judge ordered Alegría to restore the provision of electricity and water to the A-Building. In case of non-compliance, the resort will have to pay damages to the amount of US $10,000 per day, with a maximum of $1 million. The resort was also ordered the legal costs attached to the proceedings, which were set at NAf. 2,477.
The main feeder cable from utilities company GEBE comes onto the resort’s property to the main building. From there, a cable feeds to the A-building, but that cable is currently damaged and needs to be repaired.
According to Alegría, it is not safe to connect the building to the electricity grid due to damage incurred by Hurricane Irma. The home owners disagreed.
The resort claimed that the A-building’s ground floor had been flooded during the hurricane and the electricity distribution panels had been submerged. Apartments had their windows blown out and sustained water damage. Salt water had corroded the electricity cables, creating an unsafe situation.
The homeowners had informed the Court that the building had been without power and water for more than two months. According to them, it was possible to provide electricity to the floors that had not been inundated.
The homeowners had claimed that GEBE had come to restore electricity to the resort, but had declined to supply power to the A-building.
In sentencing, the Court established that Alegría had insufficient grounds to stall repair works to the feeder cable at its own expense. According to the Court, it was primarily the homeowners and their Association’s responsibility to decide to switch on the electricity to the apartments, as they, not the resort, hold ownership.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71390-caravanserai-homeowners-win-fight-with-alegria-over-utilities

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